Sunday, June 20, 2004

War News for June 20, 2004 Bring ‘em on: City councilman assassinated in Tikrit. Bring ‘em on: Ten Iraqis killed in firefight with US troops near Samarra. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi policemen killed in Baghdad bombing. Bring ‘em on: Ten Iraqi Arab taxi drivers kidnapped by Iraqi Kurds near Samarra. Bring ‘em on: Three Iraqis wounded by roadside bomb in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqis killed in mortar attack near Diyalah. Bring ‘em on: Five Iraqi police officers killed in US airstrike in Samarra. Bring ‘em on: British troops foil attempted car bombing near Basra. Bring ‘em on: One US Marine killed in action in al-Anbar province. Bring ‘em on: Seventeen Iraqis killed in attempted assassination of Health Minister in Baghdad. Bring ‘em on: British troops engaged in firefights near Amarah. Ethnic cleansing. “The Kurdish migration appears to be causing widespread misery, with Arabs complaining of expulsions and even murders at the hands of Kurdish returnees. Many of the Kurdish refugees themselves are gathered in crowded camps. American officials say as many as 100,000 Arabs have fled their homes in north-central Iraq and are now scattered in squalid camps across the center of the country. With the anti-American insurgency raging across much of the same area, the Arab refugees appear to be receiving neither food nor shelter from the Iraqi government, relief organizations or American forces.” Insuring contractors in Iraq. “Federal law requires government contractors to take out some death, disability and medical insure for workers assigned overseas, and reimburses insurers if a worker is killed or injured. Mounting deaths and injuries to contract workers in Iraq threaten to cost the federal government far more than the $1 million to $2 million it usually pays out per year under the law. But some contractors also are footing much larger than expected bills. Many have taken out more insurance than required by law as a way to attract and reassure workers, and then were forced to keep workers in the country months longer than planned because of circumstances including violence and sabotage.” Reporter in ambush near Fallujah. “The point of this or almost any story from Iraq these days is how completely the conflict between the United States and the violent opponents of U.S. occupation is closing in on anyone who lives here. For a long time, rebel targets have included Iraqis who work for the foreigners, who work in government and even who labour for Iraqis in business or government. For the past few months, Americans and other foreigners working in Iraq have also been victims of ambush. There is virtually no discrimination, and the narcotic sense of immunity that gave reporters the notion they could go into a war zone, talk to people and get back safely has been shattered.” Lieutenant AWOL’s fantasy world. “Two days later, Bush dismissed a wave of violence and sabotage that has killed more than 180 people this month and halted oil exports for at least five days, saying US-led forces were "making progress" towards a democratic Iraq.” Spencer Ackerman at TPM has some insightful observations on the demise of the CPA. “A consequence of all this is something that undercuts an implicit premise of the Post’s excellent coverage: That the occupation is in a significant sense ending. What appears more likely to happen is abdication. The U.S. will be declaring that it's not responsible for the deteriorating course of the country while Iraqis suspect (with significant foundation, as Brown points out) that the U.S. is the real power broker in Iraq. As retired State Department official Richard Murphy writes in his Post article, ‘Washington has oversold the significance of the June 30 handover.’ All this makes the actual fulfillment of our strategic objectives increasingly remote. Which is a euphemism for failure.” Commentary Editorial: “The ceremonial passage of power on June 30 is unlikely to usher in any immediate improvement in the security situation. With millions of Iraqis resentful of American occupation and attendant horrors like Abu Ghraib, residential neighborhoods terrorized by kidnappers and other criminals, another stifling summer under way without adequate electric power and economic revival a distant dream, it takes only a few thousand armed insurgents to generate an atmosphere of random carnage and rampant anarchy. With this in mind, the Pentagon now plans to keep 138,000 troops in Iraq indefinitely, almost 25,000 more than it was projecting a few months ago. Even more may be needed, although the idea of a larger and more visible American military presence will not be popular with Iraqis. According to a recent poll commissioned by the occupation authorities, increasing numbers of Iraqis would like to see American troops go home.” Editorial: “In short, the Iraq war was fought on bogus grounds. It never was about fighting 9/11 terror. If anything, it was a distraction. Nearly three years after 9/11, bin Laden is still on the loose. Al Qaeda still threatens the continental U.S. and the group continues to attack U.S. interests in Iraq and elsewhere.” Analysis: It is still unclear why Mr Bremer and the CPA showed such poor judgement. The swift overthrow of Saddam Hussein showed few Iraqis supported him. But Mr Bremer disbanded the army and persecuted the Baath party pushing their members towards armed resistance. By last summer he had alienated the Sunni Arabs (20 per cent of Iraqis) and by this spring he had infuriated the Shia (60 per cent). He turned the hitherto marginal Shia cleric Muqtada Sadr into a respected martyr and the hillbilly city of Fallujah into a patriotic symbol. Many able and intelligent CPA officials are mystified by the extent of the failure, perhaps the greatest in American foreign policy. ‘Bremer stuffed his office full of neo-conservatives and political appointees who knew nothing of the country or the region,’ one said. ‘They actively avoided anybody who did.’” Casualty Reports Local story: New Jersey Guardsman wounded in Iraq. Local story: South Carolina Guardsman wounded in Iraq. Local story: Nebraska soldier wounded in Iraq. Monkey Mail! From: xxxx@rjia.net To: yankeedoodle@gmail.com Subject: you need to put our country down It would seem to me that you should live elsewhere. This is our country, our President and our code of living standards. If you do not like it....leave it. Our president needs us now and it is really like a spiritual war. We will win, but whose side will you end up on? Those people come over here, use our resources, thanks to people like you, get an education and turn it against us. You apparently are so busy kissing foreign butt that you can't see that will be your permanent job in hell. Learn to defend what you have. They came over here with their ideas of grandiosity and now, they and their tribes are going to reap the benefit of some good ol American kick-butt. 86-43-04. Pass it on.


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